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April 17 2018

moneymetals

Global Silver Scrap Supply Falls To 26-Year Low

Global silver scrap supply fell to its lowest level in 26 years. World silver recycling in 2017 dropped by nearly 50% since its peak in 2011. According to the 2018 World Silver Survey, global silver scrap supply declined to 138 million oz (Moz) compared to 261 Moz in 2011. While the lower silver price is partly responsible for the large drop in silver recycling, there are other market dynamics.

For example, silver recycling from the photography sector has declined since consumption peaked in 1999. The photography industry was using 228 Moz of silver in 1999 compared to the 44 Moz last year. Thus, silver consumption in photography has declined by 80% in nearly two decades… and along with it, a great deal of recycled silver supply.

Furthermore, a lot of silverware was recycled during the period of rising prices (2007-2012). A lot of Millennials who inherited their parent’s (and grandparents) silverware decided it was much easier to pawn it rather than spending a lot of time polishing it for holiday gatherings. Which means, a lot of available stocks of silver scrap have already been recycled.

Global silver scrap supply (1990-2017)

As we can see in the chart above, even though the $17 silver price in 2017 was four times higher than in 1991 ($3.91), global silver scrap supply is less than it was 26 years ago. Moreover, world silver scrap was over 200 Moz a year (2005-2009) when the average annual price was much less than it was last year.



Continue reading (source

April 09 2018

moneymetals

Two Mines Supply Half Of U.S. Silver Production & The Real Cost To Produce Silver

​Just two mines supply the United States with half of its silver production, and both are located in Alaska. It’s quite amazing that Alaska now produces half of the silver for the U.S. when only 30 years ago total mine supply from the state was less than 50,000 oz per year. The silver produced in Alaska comes from the Greens Creek and Red Dog Mines. One is a primary silver mine and the other a zinc-lead base metal mine.

Even though Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine is labeled as a primary silver mine, 56% of its revenues come from its gold, zinc, and lead metal sales. However, Teck Resources, that runs the Red Dog Mine doesn’t even list its silver production in its financial reports. Because Red Dog produces one heck of a lot of zinc and lead, their silver production doesn’t amount to much in the way of revenues.

For example, the Red Dog Mine produced 542,000 metric tons (1.1 billion pounds) of zinc and 110,000 metric tons (222 million pounds) of lead, while its estimated silver production was 6.6 million oz (Moz). According to Teck’s 2017 Annual Report, total revenues from the Red Dog Mine were $1.75 billion. With the estimated silver price of $17 in 2017, total revenues from 6.6 Moz of silver were $112 million, or just 6% of the total.

In addition, Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine in Alaska produced 8.4 Moz of silver this year, down from 9.2 Moz in 2016. As I mentioned, the Greens Creek Mine also generated a lot of gold, zinc, and lead, equaling $182 million of the total revenues of $326 million (including treatment costs).

The USGS just came out with their final Silver Mineral Industry Survey for 2017, reporting that the U.S. produced 33 million oz (Moz), down from 37 Moz the previous year. U.S. silver production declined due to the union strike and the shut down of Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine. As we can see, Greens Creek and Red Dog accounted for 15 Moz of the total 33 Moz of U.S. silver production:

Top 2 silver producers vs. u.s. total 2017

While Greens Creek and Red Dog supplied nearly half of U.S. silver production last year, the next two largest mines provided 21% of the total. Coeur’s Rochester Mine in Nevada produced 4.7 Moz of silver while the Bingham Canyon Mine, the country’s largest copper mine, supplied 2.2 Moz. Almost 7 Moz of silver came from these two mines alone.

​Continue to the full article (source) ​

April 06 2018

moneymetals

CHILE, WORLD’S FOURTH LARGEST SILVER PRODUCER: Mine Supply Down 20%

Silver mine supply from the world’s fourth-largest silver producer fell significantly at the beginning of 2018. According to Chile’s Ministry of Mines, domestic silver production in January declined 20% versus the same month last year. Chile’s silver production has been falling considerably since its recent peak in 2014.

In just three years, Chile’s domestic silver mine supply fell 10 million oz (Moz) from 50.1 Moz in 2014 to 40.4 Moz last year. Interestingly, Chile’s silver production is down 20% since 2014 while the country’s copper mine supply is only down 5%. Because most of Chile’s silver supply comes as a by-product of copper mining, it’s surprising to see such a significant decline in their silver production.

If we look at three of the top four silver producers in the world, Mexico’s silver mine supply in January increased 7% while Peru declined 6%:

World top silver producers jan 2018

According to the official data, Mexico’ silver production increased 29 metric tons (mt), Peru fell 20 mt and Chile dropped by nearly 21 mt. Thus, overall silver mine supply from these top three producers fell 13 mt in January versus the same month last year. Even though Mexico will likely experience an increase in silver mine supply in 2018, declining production from other leading countries may curtail overall world supply.

​Continue reading (source) ​

January 31 2018

moneymetals

WORLD’S LARGEST SILVER MINES: Suffer Falling Ore Grades & Rising Costs

The world’s two largest silver mines have seen their productivity decline substantially due to falling ore grades and rising costs. Gone are the days when silver mines could produce silver at 15-20 ounces per ton. Today, the Primary Silver Mining Industry is likely producing silver at an average yield of 4-5 ounces per ton.

In my newest video, I discuss the changes that have taken place in the world’s two largest silver mines, the Cannington Mine in Australia and the Fresnillo Mine in Mexico. Falling ore grades and rising energy costs have contributed to the doubling and tripling of production costs at many silver mining companies. Investors who believe it still only costs $5 an ounce to produce silver, as it did in 1999, fail to grasp what is taking place in the silver mining industry:


A big problem that has confused investors is the reporting of the “CASH COST” metric by the mining industry. Some silver mining companies can brag that they have a very low cast cost of $5 an ounce, but they arrive at that figure by deducting their “by-product credits.” By-product credits are the revenues they receive from producing copper, zinc, lead, and gold along with their silver.


Continue to the full article here: (source

January 25 2018

moneymetals

The Market Underestimates The Tremendous Energy Consumption By The Gold Mining Industry

While the gold mining industry reports energy as only 15-20% of its total production costs, the total amount consumed by the industry is much higher. The market underestimates the amount of energy consumed by the gold mining industry because of the way it is listed in their financial statements. Thus, it takes a great deal more energy to produce gold than the market realizes.

Due to the complex supply chain system that we depend upon, most of the energy that is consumed in the production of goods, services, materials, metals, and commodities is hidden from plain sight.For example, a gold mining company will list “Tire Costs” in their Financial and Sustainability Reports. However, even though a tire cost is listed as a material cost, the majority of a tire’s production cost comes from burning energy… in all forms and in all stages.

For example, Barrick Gold consumed nearly 25,000 tons of tires in 2013 on its mining operations. According to the Rubber Manufacturing Association, it takes roughly 7 gallons of oil to produce a standard car tire. And from the article, This Is What A $42,500 Tire Looks Like, stated the following:

Caterpillar 797 tire

One of the many unique aspects of the Cat 797 are its tires: More than 13-feet-tall, weighing 11,860 pounds, each Michelin or Bridgestone 59/80R63 XDR tire costs $42,500 and that’s when you buy the full set of six required by each $5.5 million truck.

Contains nearly 2,000 pounds of steel, enough to build two small cars and enough rubber to make 600 tires to put on them.

If the Rubber Manufacturing Association says it takes 7 gallons of oil to make one standard tire, and this article claims that the 13-feet-tall tire used by the Caterpillar 797 haul truck contains enough rubber to make 600 tires, then it takes 4,200 gallons of oil to make one of these giant tires. If we take a more conservative estimation of a smaller mining truck tire, it would likely consume at least 2,000 gallons or oil, or nearly 50 barrels of oil.

​Continue reading.. (source

October 31 2017

moneymetals

BREAKING: China – World’s Largest Gold Producer Mine Supply Plummets 10%

Inline image 1

The world’s top gold producer saw its mine supply plummet by 10% in the first half of 2017. According to the GFMS World Gold Survey newest update, China’s gold production in 1H 2017 fell the most in over a decade. The fall in Chinese gold production is quite significant as the country will have to increase its imports to make up the shortfall in its mine supply.

The data in the GFMS 2017 Q3 Gold Survey Update & Outlook reported that Chinese gold mine supply declined 23 metric tons to 207 metric tons in the 1H 2017 versus the 230 metric tons during the same period last year:

China gold mine production (1h 2016 vs 1h 2017)

The report stated the reason for the decline in Chinese gold production was due to the government’s increased efforts to curb pollution as well as heightened awareness of environmental protection. Furthermore, GFMS analysts forecast that Chinese gold production will continue to deteriorate for the remainder of the year as production is scaled down.

Read full article: (source)

October 05 2017

moneymetals

Rep. Seeks to Restore Mining After Last-Minute Obama Ban

Inline image 1

(Emily Larsen, Liberty Headlines) Following mining pushback from environmental groups and hasty actions in the final weeks of the Obama administration, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) introduced the Minnesota Economic Rights (MINER) in the Superior National Forests Act, which aims to restore mineral rights in attempt to boost the economy in the northern part of his state.

Tom emmer/image: youtube

Tom Emmer/IMAGE: YouTube

The bill is a response to ongoing controversy regarding mining lease applications near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, close to the border of Canada. About 250,000 outdoor enthusiasts visit the 1.1 million-acre wilderness area each year.

“In their final hours, the Obama Administration enacted a series of harmful and reckless policies, which have hindered our ability to utilize our state’s abundance of natural resources and bring jobs to a part of our state that badly needs them,” said Emmer in a press release.

One of the final actions of the Obama administration in December was to reject a company’s request to renew a mining lease next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and placed a two-year mining ban on 234,000 acres of public land. The MINER Act would require approval from Congress to prohibit mining on federal lands.

“The Boundary Waters is a natural treasure, special to the 150,000 who canoe, fish, and recreate there each year, and is the economic life blood to local business that depend on a pristine natural resource,” saidformer Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a joint statement at the time of the denial. “I have asked Interior to take a time out, conduct a careful environmental analysis and engage the public on whether future mining should be authorized on any federal land next door to the Boundary Waters.”

Twin Metals Minnesota, a mining company at the center of the controversy, holds two expired mineral leases on the area, on Forest Service-controlled land and Bureau of Land Management-controlled underground minerals. The mining leases date back to 1966, before the federal government established safety and environmental review standards which now apply to mining lease locations. Twin Metals applied for the lease renewal in 2012.

A different mining company, PolyMet Mining, applied for a new copper-nickel sulfide mining permit near the wilderness area. PolyMet’s proposed mine faces environmental backlash as well. The Center for Biological Diversity and Earthworks filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service, claiming the approval of the mine violates the Endangered Species Act.

The MINER Act explicitly prohibits mineral leases within the Boundary Waters Wilderness. But even though the mines aren’t within the protected wildness, environmental groups argue that any spills of toxic chemicals from sulfur-ore mining in the area could contaminate the 1,200 miles of streams within the Boundary Waters Wilderness. Sulfur-ore mining would be new to the part of the state.

The MINER Act would also limit the extension or establishment of national monuments in Minnesota without an action of Congress. It is a possibility that environmentalists lobby to extend the protected wilderness area to include the areas of proposed mines. The Obama administration designated more national monuments than George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.

Residents of Northern Minnesota hope the new proposed mines will help improve the economy.

“Jobs for Minnesotans fully supports this legislation which provides hope and opportunity to Minnesota’s mining region,” said Nancy Norr, chairwoman of the group, at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in July.

Jason George, Legislative and Special Projects Director of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, also expressed support for Emmer’s actions to restore mineral rights.

“It is time that environmental extremists and Washington bureaucrats stop telling the good people of the Iron Range what is best for them,” said George.

Article Source

July 11 2017

moneymetals

WORLD’S 2ND LARGEST SILVER MINE SHUT DOWN: Implications For Company & Market

World's 2nd largest silver mine shut down

The world’s second largest primary silver mine, Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine, was forced to shut down operations in Guatemala by a ruling from the country’s Supreme Court. This was due to a provisional decision by the Guatemalan Supreme court in respect of a request by CALAS, an anti-mining group, for an order to temporarily suspend the license to operate the Escobal Mine until there is a full hearing. (picture courtesy of Tahoe Resources)

While this story has been out for a few days, I believe there is a great deal of misinformation on the Mainstream and Alternative media about the current situation and future outcome of Tahoe’s flagship Escobal Mine. Some analysis suggests that this is just a small speed-bump for Tahoe, so when they are able to address disputed regulatory issues, production and profits will shortly return once again.

However, there also seems to be a another side to the story that could cause more problems for Tahoe with a much longer suspension time than the company is publicly stating. For example, the following was published in the article… Tahoe Resources forced to halt Escobal mine in Guatemala:

While Tahoe is preparing for a three-month mine suspension, Haywood analysts project no production from the mine for the remainder of 2017.

Here we can see that the company (Tahoe) is very optimistic that production at Escobal will start back in three months, while Haywood analysts forecast operations won’t likely resume this year. So, who should we believe, or which forecast is more correct? Before we get into the details, let’s first look at the impact of suspending the 2nd largest primary silver mine in the world on the market.

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